By Melissa Garcia

GLENDALE, Colo. (CBS4) – Law enforcement officers across the Denver metro area collected hundreds of pounds of prescription drugs on Drug Take Back Day.

The day is a nationwide effort to protect children, reduce drug abuse, and keep tap water safe.

Hundreds of people across the city cleaned out their medicine cabinets and brought their drugs to the police station.

Glendale Police Department volunteers collected 351 pounds of expired, unused, or unwanted prescription drugs in the 4-hour span.

Disposing of pills properly can keep them from ending up where they shouldn’t be.

“I’ve been wondering for years what to do with my extra drugs that have just been sitting around,” said Linnea Nigro, a Denver resident who dropped off a variety of old pills that she no longer needed.

“Allergy medicine, anxiety medication, even medicine for my dog who has had some health issues,” said Nigro.

(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

“I’m pretty well cleaned out now,” commented Linda Pohle, who brought in 30 bottles of meds after learning of the dangers of dumping them down the toilet.

“(There are) so many drugs going into our water supply that it’s almost making it dangerous to drink water,” said Pohle.

For that very reason, Denver Water put out a video of a man getting punched by a toilet after he tried to put some prescription pills into it.

(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

Korbie Perkins, an officer with the Glendale Police Department, said that helping to prevent prescription drug abuse is one of many reasons why people should turn in their prescription drugs to locations that take drugs back.

“We don’t want the prescriptions ending up in landfills, but even more important, we don’t want them ending up in the hands of kids,” explained Perkins.

“I think this is a great service, and I hope more people take advantage of it,” said Nigro.

The Glendale Police Department takes back drugs all year round, 24/7. Anyone can walk up to the lobby’s front counter and pick up the phone to call dispatch. An employee will accept the medicine and drop it into a secure vault to be turned over to the Drug Enforcement Agency.

Officials said that people dropping off pills will not be asked any questions, and cannot get into any trouble.

LINK: Locations That Take Back Drugs

Melissa Garcia has been reporting for CBS4 News since March 2014. Find her bio here, follow her on Twitter @MelissaGarciaTV, or send your story idea to mkgarcia@cbs.com.

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